A Beginner’s Guide to Edibles

When you think of edibles, your first thought is probably cannabis brownies, but there are so many more delicious options. Depending on what you’re in the mood for you’ll find edibles created for recreational use or medicinal use. Read our Beginner’s Guide to Edibles to learn more about these popular cannabis products and how to determine the right dose for you.

Cannabis leaf and gummy bears


What are Cannabis Edibles? 

Cannabis edibles are foods or drinks that have been infused with cannabis. Edibles contain cannabinoids in their bioactive forms and when those are ingested it allows our bodies to absorb them on a larger scale. One of the most attractive things about edibles is that you can consume them without the potentially harsh experience of smoking cannabis traditionally. 

Before edibles entered the mainstream with the rest of the cannabis products, they were mostly available as brownies or candies. Now with their growing popularity, you can enjoy cannabis infused in any number of desserts, candies, drinks, and even savory dishes.

How are Edibles Different from Other Forms of Cannabis? 

Cannabis edibles are ingested rather than inhaled or absorbed so the way your body metabolizes the cannabinoids will be different. When you consume cannabis in an edible form the cannabinoids are broken down by your liver in order to be absorbed by your bloodstream. With inhalation or absorption, the cannabinoids can enter your bloodstream faster either through your lungs or your skin. This difference in consumption causes a difference in duration as well. 

With edibles, it takes longer to feel the effects of cannabis than with other methods. This can often lead to users ingesting more edibles than necessary. One thing we want to emphasize in this Beginner’s Guide to Edibles is to start with a low dose and be patient. If you’ve never ingested cannabis before, we recommend starting with no more than 2.5mg THC, a practice known as microdosing.

When the effects of edibles do start to appear they’ll likely be different than those you’re used to if you’ve consumed cannabis in other forms. The doses in edibles aren't actually larger but they feel stronger. They can produce euphoria while affecting your cognition and perception of time, movement, and memory. On the other hand, inhaling cannabis tends to offer similar effects but with a less full-bodied experience.

Cannabis leaf on white surface


What are the Benefits of Consuming Cannabis Edibles? 

Most users prefer edibles for the stronger body effects that they offer when compared to inhalation or absorption. That’s not the only benefit of consuming your cannabis in edible form though.

Some of the major benefits to consuming edibles are:

  • Edibles from a dispensary don’t require any equipment to use. 
  • Unless you’re making your own edibles, there’s nothing to clean up but the packaging.
  • You won’t experience respiratory discomfort during or after.
  • You can enjoy edibles discreetly.
  • The right edible dose can give you a longer effect.
  • You’ll experience a more potent full-body effect.
  • You don’t need to leave the comfort of your own home to enjoy–especially when you get edibles delivered!

Like most other forms of cannabis, edibles can be helpful in dealing with a number of psychosomatic issues like anxiety, pain, and stress.

What are the Effects of Edibles?

When you inhale cannabis, you can start to feel the effects almost right away. However, when you consume cannabis edibles or drinks it can take an hour or more to feel them. 

The length of time differs between individuals, their metabolic rates, the strength of their edible dose, or whether they’re consuming the edible on an empty stomach. If there’s one thing to take away from this Guide to Edibles, it’s to be patient when you’re consuming edibles. Try to wait at least an hour after taking your first dose before taking another small dose. If you’re not feeling anything after an hour you can also try eating or drinking something without cannabis to jumpstart your metabolism and digestion.

After consuming cannabis-infused treats, it’s common to experience tiredness, exhaustion, or headaches up to 24 hours after. The effects are usually mild though and not as dire as the hangover commonly caused by alcohol. 

While you can’t fatally overdose on edibles, you might experience some unsettling effects especially if you consumed too much too quickly, such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia 
  • Fatigue 
  • Skewed sense of time 
  • Slow movement 

If your experience is too intense, follow these Beginner’s Guide to Edibles tips from the experts at HERB and know that your discomfort will fade soon.

  • Lie down 
  • Drink water 
  • Listen to relaxing music 
  • Take in some fresh air or take a supervised walk outside
  • Avoid bright lights  
  • Avoid coffee 
Chocolate chip cookies with cannabis leaves


Your Guide to Edible Doses

In several states, cannabis edible doses are capped at 10 to 15 milligrams of THC or CBD. Finding the right dose for you depends on more than just the legal recommendation though. The correct dose for you depends on your cannabis tolerance, your metabolism, and the experience you want.

For beginners or microdosing, we recommend starting with 5 milligrams or lower for mild pain or anxiety relief and boosted focus. If you’re looking for stronger relief or your tolerance is high try increasing your dose slowly. Let your body get used to the new dose level before you continue to increase the dose.

Whether you’re using cannabis for medical or recreational reasons, you should consult a doctor to get their recommended dose for your unique needs.

How do I Find the Right Edible?

It’s our commitment at HERB to ensure you get the best experience with your edibles which is why we created this Beginner’s Guide to Edibles.  

When you’re shopping for cannabis-infused edibles and drinks, you want to make sure the brand or delivery service is safe and trustworthy. Whether it's vegan or gluten free, we source only the best products from California’s top cannabis producers and offer them at fair prices.

Edibles can produce enjoyable and long-lasting effects. Always remember your response can differ depending on your history of cannabis use, metabolism, edible dose, and other physiological factors so if you’re not getting the same effect as your friend, don't worry! Relax and listen to your body before taking another dose.

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